Will Daedalus soon be wingless?

Image result for hms daedalus

Lee-on-Solent airfield, originally the site of the Royal Naval Air Services’ first seaplane base in 1917, was also a Fleet Air Arm training base in WW2 as HMS Daedalus . The picture, looking east, shows its coastal location between Portsmouth harbour (seen in the distance) and Southampton Water

The historic Daedalus airfield, still operating as Solent Airport (EGHF), is a CAA-licensed general aviation aerodrome, with airline traffic served by Southampton airport to its north-west and Bournemouth to the west.

It is also home to Britten-Norman, which proudly calls itself the UK’s only independent aircraft manufacturer, still churning out updated civil and military variants of the perennially popular Islander/Trislander series more than 50 years after the type first flew.

More than 1,250 Islander series aircraft have been produced, and B-N operates a specialist MRO support service for them at Lee-on-Solent. But as an aeronautical engineering company it also carries out sophisticated mission systems integration for the Defender variant and other aircraft.

Now the base is under threat as an aviation site.

Fareham Borough Council, which owns it, is tempted to accept offers to locate a massive National Grid electrical supply interconnector terminal close by. This 10-acre, 25m-high terminal will be an electrical power supply interconnector with France, and if it goes ahead many extremely high voltage electrical cables will run underneath Daedalus’ runways and taxiways.

This will seriously mess up simple things like compass swings, but the calibration of mission systems and any other equipment affected by powerful electromagnetic fields will also be threatened.

Considering the interconnector terminal could equally efficiently be located the other side of Southampton Water at Fawley on a site that has always been industrial, threatening Daedalus, Britten-Norman and local general aviation in this way just because Fareham Borough Council likes the colour of National Grid’s money is, to put it mildly, short-sighted.

7 thoughts on “Will Daedalus soon be wingless?

  1. This type of greed and short sightedness makes me very angry.

    Once an airfield is lost it is lost forever.


  2. I can’t believe that there would be another threat so soon after all the lengthy discussions, ideas, and decisions made on the future of the airfield. Those decisions include its future as a GA airfield and new business areas on the brownfield areas.

    The Solent Enterprize Zone website has all the details.


  3. Unfortunately this “story” is complete tripe. Fareham Borough Council has saved the airfield and its leader is on record as stating that no development will be allowed which would adversely affect it.

    Shame on the ill-informed author.


  4. I apologise for the comment above under an assumed name. It was a moment of madness.


    • Bravo Sean. The truth shall set you free. And assumption makes an ASS of U and ME. Assumed Temp for T/O THR REF please.
      A mind is like a parachute; best used opened. And hope springs eternal. Bravo encore. More like you desperately needed on the Austrian Aviation Herald.


  5. […] To be fair, that looks like an organisation putting its money where its mouth is, but what about the proposed on-site National Grid interconnector terminal that – by running high power electricity cables under the aerodrome – could interfere with aviation activity and high-tech systems by creating a powerful electromagnetic field above ground? […]


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